History GCSE / National 5: How women fought for sexual and social equality in the 20th century

Radio 1 DJ Gemma Cairney discovers how women fought for equality in 20th century Britain.

One hundred years ago women with illegitimate children could be placed in a mental institution.

Attitudes towards women in society changed and women enjoyed more social and sexual freedom after World War Two.

Feminism and the women’s liberation movement became more prominent in the 1960s and 1970s.

Feminist campaigner Sally Alexander describes campaigning against the Miss World competition and protester Anastasia Richardson talks about organising the London slut walks in 2011 to protest against sexual harassment.

Teacher Notes

After watching the clip, ask students to debate whether it is right to judge people by the way they look? Give students a series photographs of women over the last seventy years (including suffragettes, CND protestors, Women's Lib activists and suited businesswomen) and ask what we can deduce about these women. Students should then be divided into groups to research one the women in their photograph. Places the information gathered on a timeline of change. Students should consider how far attitudes have changed towards these women in their research.

Curriculum Notes

his clip will be relevant for teaching History. This topic appears in OCR, Edexcel, AQA, WJEC KS4/GCSE in England and Wales, CCEA GCSE in Northern Ireland and SQA National 4/5 in Scotland.

Women in politics and how suffragettes won women the vote,
How women fought for access to birth control in Britain
How women have fought for equality in the workplace